A study on James 5:13-20
Here is the sermon if you missed it: Closing In Prayer
Here are some headings with a few start off questions for discussion. You won’t usefully get through them all in time, but do try to cover each heading and leave enough time for prayer together at the end:
1. Struggling and suffering
What is the typical response to struggling and suffering? If we are suffering, what should we pray for? Will God always take away the trial from us? What is the use of praying if God isn’t going to take away the trial? What does a prayerful attitude show about our heart?
2. On top of the world
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian to good news? Why should a Christian respond differently? What does this show about our heart?
3. Not well
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian when they seriously unwell? Who do they rely on? What does turning to mature believers for prayer show about our hearts? Why specifically call the elders? What is the anointing all about? Does verse 15 guarantee that the sick person will be healed? What is a condition? Does this mean if you pray for the sick and they aren’t healed it is because you don’t have enough faith?
Why confess our sins to one another? Isn’t God the one forgives? Isn’t it enough to confess directly to God? In the sermon a set of principles were laid out – what were they? Does this passage support the idea of a Catholic priest hearing ‘confessions’?
5. Prayer – why bother
We often have the idea that God has His plan and prayer doesn’t do anything. Then how do we understand verse 16? Does God do anything? Do our prayers change things? What is the danger to our prayer life if we believe our prayers don’t actually accomplish anything. What does it mean that Elijah had a “nature like ours”? What can we learn from the example of Elijah?
6. Putting someone right
Who is verse 19 talking about? A believer or unbeliever? What is our responsibility towards people in church? How can we “bring a sinner back from wandering”? Explain the phrase ” bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”
A study on James 5: 1-12, based on the sermon: Are You Ready To Meet Your Maker?
- Take a few minutes as a group to recap on the issues James has been addressing in his letter up to the end of chapter 4, are any of those issues more or less relevant today? Discuss.
- Read verses 1-6. Why are the rich people being told to weep and groan; is it their money, if not what?
- How much do we have to have before we’re rich? Read 1 Chronicles 29: 10-20 for context.
- If these verses are predominantly aimed at rich people who aren’t Christians, where is the lesson/application for us today?
- Read verses 7-12. As you read through notice and discuss each one of the commands or instructions James gives, how do they apply to us today in 21st century Ely?
- How do these two halves of the reading (1-6 &7-12) fit together to give a clear message about justice?
- take some time as a group to pray for each other and the whole church as we seek to apply this passage to our lives – Also please focus some prayer time on ‘the brick’ (God building His Church).
Some study questions For James 4:11-17.
Here’s the sermon if you missed it… The Games Christians Play
- In which kinds of ways might we “speak evil against each other”? Check back on what James said in chapter 3; maybe as a group you’ll find some other bible passages that say similar things?
- What does it mean to judge a brother or sister? Does this mean we can’t point out others’ sins? Why or why not?
- What is the difference between the kind of unpleasantness/judging here, and proper correction? So how do we balance confronting people with their sin and the fact that God is The judge?
- Does verse 13 mean that making plans is evil? What about if your Pastor says, “I’ll move to Littleport and spend a year there, start a new church and train leaders and then move on to another place.” Would that be wrong?
- How can we know God’s will?
- Pastor said in the sermon that “it’s not difficult to know God’s will” – if that’s so, then why do so many Christians say things like, “I just don’t know what The Lord wants me to do?”
- Share as a group any areas for prayer that you are seeking the Lord on, and spend some time praying for one another as well as the worship and witness of New Connexions.
Some study questions For James 4:1-10.
Here’s the sermon if you missed it… Rock Solid
- Take a few minutes as a group to remind each other about who James was, why he was writing etc.
- Verse 1: If we have any disagreements with people in our church family, how should we deal with them? – see also Matthew 18: 15-20.
- Why might we find prayer difficult?
- Why doesn’t God give some people what they ask for? (James 4:3, Isaiah 55:89, 2 Peter 3:8, Philippians 4:6-7, John 15:7).
- Verses 7-10. In the sermon we looked at three rock solid promises, what are they? Talk through each one as a group and look at how, if we take them to heart, they can empower us.
- How is the reverse logic in verses 9 and 10 true?
- What are the key applications in this passage that group members are going to take away and put into practice?